Abstract for: A system dynamics approach to gendered energy innovations in urban poor environments

The end-user’s role in energy innovations remains overlooked despite their contribution to influence social-technical transitions to deal with energy security challenges. This paper explores how gendered energy innovations can contribute to the security of energy services at households, by focusing on the end-user’s unfulfilled energy services. The article utilises system dynamics to initially show dynamic feedbacks in gendered innovations of products and processes and gender mainstreaming. The paper illustrates the merging of gender mainstreaming and gendered innovations to capture the cross-cutting aspects of gendered energy innovations in urban poor environments. The results indicate that previous studies on gender mainstreaming focused on the symptoms of the problem that exhibits fixes that fail and shifting the burden systems archetypes. Focusing on the root of the problem that is, the unfulfilled end-user energy services, we identify four feedback loops. These are gender-neutral user-centred loop, gendered user-centred loop, gendered process innovation loop and, gendered product and service innovation loop. Placing the unfulfilled end-user energy services at the core permits a better understanding of the context and development of radical innovations through context-specific entrepreneurship. Future work entails developing a stock and flow system dynamics model for specific case studies in South Africa and Kenya, where we are exploring gendered energy innovation to achieve security of energy services in urban poor environments.